West's gunboats won't loosen China's grip on disputed islands

Filipino fishermen in a boat maneuver next to the US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson at the Manila Bay, Philippines on Feb 17, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

With the imminent deployment of British and French naval vessels to the South China Sea as a show of strategic intent to China, international attention will once again be drawn to the rapid military build-up by the Chinese in those troubled waters.

The move by Britain and France is purportedly to demonstrate European solidarity with the United States and its staunch allies like Japan and Australia in standing up to a rising China that they believe wants to challenge the existing rules-based international order.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2018, with the headline 'West's gunboats won't loosen China's grip on disputed islands'. Subscribe